Sanford’s VP, Dave Knudson, makes a curious statement about the EC

Image: Dave Knudson

Besides the fact that the council is not allowed to make changes to the contract, I found Dave’s statement yesterday during the working session meeting a bit odd (watch the entire meeting);

“We were very surprised to discover last Thursday that we were the only group to submit a bid,” Sanford Health Vice President Dave Knudson said.

What?! Was Dave told that by Smith and the Mayor or is he just flat out misleading the public and council?

On the day of the announcement of the naming rights, the councilors and members of the media were handed a packet that said that there were other companies that had interest in naming rights;



Orthopedic Institute

First Dakota Bank

It is also well known that ONE of these entities did make an offer. Rumor has it was around $400,000 a year for 20 years, obviously not even close to Sanford’s offer, BUT, still an offer. What would be the harm in mentioning that an offer was made, without saying who it was?

As Huether was rumored to say at the CNA Surety building ribbon cutting, (Paraphrasing) “There some deals made the public cannot be let in on.” (and have to be made behind closed doors)

Who needs transparency when we have leaders like this? Huh?



#1 PrairieLady - Gayle on 08.08.12 at 2:27 pm

As Huether was rumored to say at the CNA Surety building ribbon cutting, (Paraphrasing) “There some deals made the public cannot be let in on.” (and have to be made behind closed doors)

OMG! So did any of the media pick up on this???? Just more in the line of his transparency and the public is too dumb to get any of this….sounds like Mitts.

#2 l3wis on 08.08.12 at 2:40 pm

I heard this last week from someone that was in attendance of the ribbon cutting. Then I heard Patrick Lalley bring it up on the ‘100 Eyes’ show yesterday. So that is far as the media coverage goes, I guess.

#3 WOW! on 08.08.12 at 3:20 pm

Being VP of Sanford is probably better than being Governor. You control the state in both places.

#4 l3wis on 08.08.12 at 10:49 pm

It’s to bad he can’t control the outcome of his wife’s council bid.


#5 Testor15 on 08.09.12 at 8:18 am

Let me get this right, the Denny’s EC will not allow any other bank, financial institution, medical clinic, hospital system or other competitors from advertising / sponsoring any part of the facility?

We have a town and region where the above mentioned are the drivers of economic life and they have been excluded?

How often will these other businesses rent the Denny’s convention center to market their businesses?

Let’s see if this makes sense to potential new businesses considering a move or growth into Sanford Falls, SD.

#6 l3wis on 08.09.12 at 8:27 am

Testor – You are correct. I guess there will still be an opportunity to advertise on digital screens (that have Sanford advertising framing them) or putting a sign up int he bowl. But this is what happens when you let a naming rights sponsor right their own contract. As I told a city official yesterday, “While the Sanford donation is big and nice, we have pretty much shut out other donation opportunities from other banks and healthcare providers in SF. Which could be worth a heckuva lot more then $750,000 a year.”

The problem is the city council didn’t get to see this contract in it’s earliest stages, so they could have made recommendations. They have been pretty much told the negotiation process is over with, and if they disagree with the contract they can vote NO.

What a joke.

#7 WOW! on 08.09.12 at 9:05 am

$750,000 a year sounds like a lot of money to us but it’s probably just about what Dave Knudson makes working for Sanford.

#8 cr on 08.09.12 at 9:29 am

I was at the naming rights work session… I sat and listened, I was starting to feel rather sick………..

Darin Smith’s “stunt” at the end of the session was the ultimate!! I feel certain that he was told to deliver this message by Mike and Sanford’s team of attorneys.

The City Council has been rendered COMPLETELY POWERLESS and this is about the biggest investment in our community’s history.

I remember one day at Carnegie, way before the vote happened, when the Mayor told the Council that the events center was his “Deal” and to basically stay out of it! It looks like in the end, this is really what has happened!!

2014 cannot come soon enough………..!!!

#9 Testor15 on 08.09.12 at 9:57 am

Even if we wait to throw SubPrime Mike and his bunch out in 2014, we will still be stuck with Denny’s EC sinking us under the weight of the debt load.

Does Knudson’s Denny naming deal come with Cost Of Living increases or inflation riders so it will increase as other long term debts?

Are we stuck with a 25 year debt without considering the shrinking value of money over time?

Even the Belly Buster special at the other Denny’s has increased over time. Now we have a city buster the public will be stuck with.

#10 Scott on 08.09.12 at 4:06 pm

CR, I was embarrassed by the demand that they do nothing but just accept what he negotiated.

#11 l3wis on 08.09.12 at 9:50 pm

Trust me, at least one councilor told me he was not happy about this.

First we had King Munson, now we have King Huether.

#12 Jennifer's Musing on 08.10.12 at 11:18 am

This agreement pretty much nails down everything Sanford/Premier. Not only do they get the signage rights, they get to shut out other banking and health institutions, they get advertising rights and advertising commericals on the big screens, a big space to commemorate their leader. Each title sponsor gets the following: rights to center suites in the event center, 20 club seats, first right to purchase event tickets, 5 VIP parking passes, use of the event center without rental charge one day per year, a Sanford Employee Night and Premier Employee plus 500 tickets each. I’d say the term “negotiations” was used very loosely by Darrin Smith. The city was never leading this “negotiation.” Sanford and Premier put the money up and they get the special perks. I don’t begrudge them for that. Pure and simple. There are leaders and then there are the people that just do what they are told. The leaders in this deal are clear by the agreement “negotiated” by city. I just wish Darrin Smith and the Mayor Huether would quit pretending they are running the show on this deal.

#13 Testor15 on 08.11.12 at 8:37 pm

Thank you Jennifer for the nutshell version. Hope all is well on your homefront. The deal just keeps getting worse for all of us. Darrin has no clue what he gave away to please SubPrime Mike and his employer T. Denny. Darrin just keeps reminding me of the bad decision Sioux Valley Hospital made when they ruined the health system by bringing in Kelby.

Thanks again for checking in!

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